Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Jack White Returns With A Song Actually Designed For The Stadium

Jack White just released a mostly instrumental riff dispenser titled "Battle Cry."
Courtesy of the artist
Jack White just released a mostly instrumental riff dispenser titled "Battle Cry."

Jack White has made countless contributions to rock 'n' roll: with The White Stripes, with The Raconteurs, with The Dead Weather, as a label owner and musical preservationist, as a solo artist.

But the Jack White moment that's most firmly planted itself in the pop-cultural firmament has to be "Seven Nation Army," the White Stripes song whose central riff echoes through sports stadiums the world over (an honor he no doubt warily shares with Gary Glitter). That song is on the wind and in the bones now, and it may never leave.

Now, White returns with a new song literally designed, at least in part, to be played in ballparks. Mostly instrumental, save for some chants courtesy of Native American performer and activist Anthony "Thosh" Collins, "Battle Cry" is a two-and-a-half-minute riff dispenser, written to accompany a promotional short film titled War Cry: The Battle Of The Hawk And The Raven. (The film features Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler, and is intended to promote a sporting-goods company; it'll air at the Tigers' home opener this weekend.)

Whether or not it portends a full-length Jack White record in the near future, "Battle Cry" is now available via Third Man to stream, download and, naturally, as a one-sided gold 7".

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)